Demolishing Fulham 5-1, we gunners are certainly on cloud nine. 9 wins out of 9 is absolutely phenomenal and singing ‘We Have Our Arsenal Back’ at Craven Cottage just made it better. In all of this there has been a certain player who has stood out under Unai Emery and that is our very own Naija Boy- Alex Iwobi. The man has been entitled by emirates faithful as the Nutmeg King and has been completely terrorising defenders this season.
"There’s no pressure or weight on my shoulders. I’m just enjoying my football. The team is enjoying the new style and the new things we’ve brought into training so it’s not just me that’s enjoying playing with freedom, it’s my team-mates as well."
– Alex Iwobi pic.twitter.com/xZylOMa3Kv
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) October 3, 2018
Unlike other Arsenal players or attackers, he takes on defenders without fear to beat them 1 on 1 and opens up the flank numerous times. However, over the last two seasons, he has played quite a lot of matches but has just produced 6 goals and 8 assists in the same. Arsene Wenger even criticized him for his lack of goals and assists and quite honestly his inconsistency had been frustrating to watch at times.
However under Unai Emery, Alex Iwobi has definitely been a different player. He has gained an enormous amount of confidence, loses the ball comparatively less and plays like a completely different person on the ball. His first touch on the ball has improved singnificantly and isn’t in a haste to release the ball. Speaking on the changes this season the Nigerian International added,
“The boss has basically told me if something doesn’t work, keep going & don’t dwell on it. He’s told me to stop being so critical & to just keep trying no matter what happens, no matter if things don’t go as I want them to.”
Emery is, indeed, making Iwobi a more flexible player. Even without a goal, or assist against Fulham, he played a significant role in the team in pressurising the defenders and hence tiring them all through out.
Four months ago, a large section of Arsenal fans wanted Alex Iwobi sold.
Now, he is one of Arsenal's most influential players under Unai Emery.
— 888sport (@888sport) October 7, 2018
There have been two matches, particularly this season where Alex Iwobi has been simply brilliant. He stood out in the Gunners’ 3-2 derby defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. His link-up with teammates was superb, and he even chipped in with a goal as well in a crazy first-half.
He also created absolute sitters for both, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang. The second was his his impact off the bench against the hornets in a 2-0 victory. The Nigeria international was introduced for the ineffective and frustrating Aaron Ramsey. It was his cross that led to Craig Cathcart putting the ball past Ben Foster to break the deadlock, while his positional awareness, and subsequent basic pass to Alexander Lacazette down the right who then squared for Ozil to finish.
Iwobi has lit up the gunners often this season and this has been an absolute joy for us Emirates faithful to watch one of our own develop so finely in such a short period of time.
Alex Iwobi came on to play a pivotal role in his side's 2-0 victory against Watford. https://t.co/tbBJowlcRo
— Sportskeeda Football (@SK_Football) September 30, 2018
The likes of Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck also seem resurgent this season. Danny already has 4 goals to his name, impressing with his work-rate and assist against Fulham. The matches in the Europa League and Carabao Cup have helped him to a great extent. We haven’t lost a match yet this season in which Holding has played. The young English lad has impressed many and I wont be surprised if he gets an England call-up soon.
Overall, we are seeing improvements in players under Unai Emery that were totally unforeseen and 6 wins out of 6 (including 3 away wins) just proves that the manager is bringing life back at Arsenal.